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MVP gives PLDT pep talk ahead of PVL wars


With three former MVPs on board, a Filipino-Canadian scoring machine as a sophomore, and a pool of reliable standouts as holdovers, expect a much more powerful PLDT High Speed Hitters team at the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference.

Ahead of the league’s opening on February 20, all eyes are on the volleyball team supported by PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan as it faces 11 other participants, kicking off the biggest Philippine volleyball action in 2024.

Headlining the team are the terrific trio of Kianna Dy (UAAP Season 78 Finals MVP, 2021 PNVF Champions League MVP, and Best Opposite Hitter), Majoy Baron (UAAP Season 79 MVP, 2023 PVL Invitational Conference 1st Best Middle Blocker), and Kim Fajardo (3-time UAAP Best Setter, UAAP Beach Volleyball MVP).

All were once part of the national team and gained prominence during their collegiate days with the De La Salle University Lady Spikers. They each carry three UAAP gold medals, among other silver finishes and individual awards.

After finishing as the PVL’s top scorer in her rookie year in the last conference, Savannah Davison is seen as a credible threat on the court. She contributed 202 points through 173 attacks, 22 blocks, and seven service aces at the end of the eliminations.

Davison competed at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 and national competition levels in the US. All this, while completing her biochemistry degree at New Mexico State University and MBA at the University of Oklahoma Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business.

Meanwhile, three-time PVL Best Libero Kath Arado takes on a new role as captain, manning the team’s backcourt defense with her precision and agility. Also a multi-awarded UAAP libero, she leads a lineup of veterans and former national team players.

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The team includes 2022 PVL Invitational Conference Best Middle Blockers Mika Reyes and Dell Palomata, and UAAP champions Rhea Dimaculangan and Jules Samonte.

Erika Santos, Fiola Ceballos, Jessey de Leon, Jovelyn Prado, Rachel Austero, Iza Viray, and Far Eastern University standouts Kiesha Bedonia and Sheila Kiseo complete the roster.

“We are excited to see volleyball court action resume this February. As always, we are here to support the PLDT High Speed Hitters in this new season. We also hope to give a more exhilarating experience to the fans watching live on the sidelines of the games as they support this powerhouse team,” said Jude Turcuato, Head of Sports at PLDT and Smart.

PVL champion coaches Rald Ricafort and Arnold Laniog, along with Manolo Refugia, Mike Santos, and Ervin Peralta, banner the coaching staff. Paolo Escaño is tasked with supervising the team’s strength and conditioning.

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A few days before the new season kicked off, the PLDT High Speed Hitters dropped by the PLDT headquarters in Makati City for a courtesy visit with PLDT President/CEO, Manny Pangilinan.

“The goal is to have as many Filipino volleyball athletes as possible representing us in international events – and maybe even the Olympics. We will continue to work with partner leagues and organizations to help make this possible,” Pangilinan said.

“Of course, the work begins with our team. They make us very proud, and we hope they continue to play their hearts out on the court.”

The team also had the chance to meet, interact, and play games with PLDT and Smart employees to promote the upcoming season.

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